Friday, July 6, 2007

5 Reasons Solar Power Works

Solar PanelsWhen most people think about solar power powering everybody’s everyday needs (say that 10 times fast), they are imagining centuries in to the future. Many people believe solar power is unreasonable; it could be cloudy, it doesn’t produce enough energy, etc. But they’re wrong. Here are five reasons why:

1. It never runs out
Solar power is essentially infinite, so it never runs out, unlike fossil fuels. The amount of solar energy intercepted by the Earth every minute is greater than the amount of energy the world uses in fossil fuels each year.

2. It’s pollution free during use
Converting solar energy into usable energy gives off no pollution.

3. It can (but doesn’t have to) be used locally
Not only can solar power can be produced and used locally, saving transportation costs and emissions, but also it can be used nationally if an area with little power needs more power (see #4).

Solar Powered Car4. It can be stored and used later
When the sun’s not out, stored energy can be used. Storing energy is more expensive, but still just as useful.

5. When combined with other technologies, solar power could be even more useful.

From Time:
In the developing world, LEDs paired with solar panels could provide a cheap, sustainable light source that doesn't need a traditional power grid.

From CNN:Solar-powered sensors monitor traffic flow

Combined with other technology, solar power could be used for small but important jobs. Solar powered cars (see picture) are even a possibility, even if their use would be limited.

In reality, solar power may not provide enough energy for ALL of our energy needs. But it could provide be a large percentage energy source. Coupled with nuclear power, wind power and water power, we could stop global warming. And as an added bonus, the U.S. with lose its dependency on foreign oil.

More Alternative Energy Series:

Why Corn Ethanol is Bad
The Temporary Solution: Coal
Nuclear Power: Energy of the Future or As Bad As Fossil Fuels
5 Reasons Solar Power Works
The Wind Power and Solar Power Combination
Another Look at Nuclear Power - Nuclear Waste
What's So Special About Hydropower and Hydroelectricity?
Top 5 Advantages of Geothermal Power


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